"It is what you read when you don't have to that determines what you will be when you can't help it." - Oscar Wilde
3.5 Stars - Play it again, Charlie...
The second book in the series and I can pretty much insert my review of the first story here.
Again, the blurb really drew me in. I'm a sucker for reunited lovers and the accompanying conflicts. Don't know why, but that trope gets to me every time. It was the same here. Axel and Caxton were caught making out in a religious summer camp six years ago, and never had any contact after that. Six years later Axel is looking for a fresh start, with a glimpse of his past giving him the nudge he needs to decide on his new job. So, after all this time, when the two men meet again, sparks fly. Accompanied by guilt, hurt and a lot of other feelings.
Like the first one, this book was solid. The writing was good, the characters likable, the plot not your everyday blah blah. I enjoyed it, and yet... It comes back to the potential again.
The ideas were good, the steam was great, but overall I found the story to be somewhat lacking. Deep conflicts - on the inside and outside - were simplified to a point where I was shaking my head instead of feeling for the MCs. Cax "transformation" came too fast for me. I would have liked to see a little more of his actual change instead of just the results. The bashing of Axel, the family and friends, the father, the coming out - it all had potential, but in the end, the execution left me with too many open questions, plot holes and loose ends. Also, some of the justifications and explanations of Cax actions over the years, and the "investigation" following the assault on Axel were too weak for me, and some even downright insane.
Overall, at the risk of repeating myself too much, all I can say is that I was hoping for a little more, and could not shake the tiny sense of vague disappointment after finishing the story. It was good, but I didn't fall for it like many other readers did.